Why West Virginia Absolutely Can Afford to Fire Neal Brown Right Now

Morgantown, West Virginia – Former Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst, who had a 67-26 record in eight seasons at the school, was fired over the weekend and was owed approximately $21 million on his contract buyout.

Yesterday, Wisconsin and Chryst agreed to a reduced buyout amount of $11 million, which is approximately 55% of the remaining amount that Chryst was owed.

This is a typical arrangement between head coaches and universities, and it’s very rare that an entire contract buyout is paid out.

In addition, if Chryst was willing to accept a lowered amount after a very successful run as the head coach at Wisconsin, it’s likely that coaches who have not been as successful would feel compelled to agree to a greatly reduced buyout.

Neal Brown Has Failed Miserably

This brings us to West Virginia head coach Neal Brown. Brown, who is currently owed approximately $20.0 million after director of athletics ludicrously extended his contract and gave him a raise after an 11-11 start, has failed miserably as the head coach of of the Mountaineers. A 19-21 overall record and an 11-17 record in the Big 12 is failure any way you look at it.

Neal Brown must worry about his reputation for future employment

Brown has to worry about his reputation moving forward, and ruthlessly demanding his full contract buyout after failing is not a good look for any head coach. And thus, a negotiated buyout would likely be in the $7.5-10 million range after it was all said and done.

Buyout can be paid over multiple years

This total is even more possible for West Virginia University and its donors because the amount can be paid over several years. So while $10 million is a lot of money, it’s not so bad $1 or $2 million at a time. In addition to that, the negotiated contract buyout would be offset by any salary that he makes from his new employer. Although Brown struggled at West Virginia, an FCS program would certainly give him an opportunity to do attempt to do what he did at Troy.

There are no more excuses not to fire Brown

West Virginia can afford to fire him. He was given 3 and 1/2 years to prove himself and he has shown that this isn’t the right situation for him. It’s time to cut ties before losing the entire fanbase. Loss of revenue from lack of season ticket sales and apparel would be far more devastating for the university than the relatively small amount owed to Brown.